Derbyshire-based waste management specialists H W Martin Waste Ltd are backing the messages of the new “Take Charge” campaign. The Environmental Services Association (ESA) launched Take Charge on 26th October 2020 to raise awareness of the high numbers of batteries left in recyclable waste.
A large amount of batteries and electronic products containing batteries are being put into recyclable materials collections. The materials are being processed through Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) and can explode and cause fires.
Batteries and other waste electrical items can be recycled but they must be dealt with separately at approved facilities. Places where electrical items can be taken include local household waste recycling centres and electronics retailers. The ESA’s Take Charge website tells you where your nearest battery recycling points are located based on your postcode. Visit www.takecharge.org.uk
H W Martin Waste Ltd operates its own MRFs, where thousands of tonnes of recyclable materials are processed on behalf of many councils up and down the country. The risk from batteries exploding is a serious one. We urge our council customers and their residents to make sure the right materials are going into the collection bins and boxes, and to visit the Take Charge website to get more tips and information about their unwanted batteries and electronic items.
The Take Charge video below gives more detail on the campaign. It also shows what can happen in a MRF when batteries explode (N.B. these are third-party sites and not connected to H W Martin Waste Ltd’s activities). According to the ESA, in the year to March 2020 almost 260 fires were started in UK waste and recycling facilities due to exploding batteries.